The original Cartier Santos ‘Dumont’ made in 1904 can be considered to be one of the earliest wrist and pilot’s watches ever made, designed by Louis Cartier himself for his friend and aviator pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. The watch had a very industrial execution: square in shape with a prominent bezel held in place with 8 rivets and the inimitable cabochon crown.
In the 1970s, Cartier set out to reinterpret the original Santos-Dumont with a very faithful and accurate series, and so the reference 78097 was born. This particular example has a very early serial, with a ‘Paris’ signed ivory dial and no hidden-signature (a detail that will only appear in the later 80’s production) with a spectacular faceted octagonal crown with faceted cabochon sapphire. In overall untouched and unpolished condition, the case is extremely sharp retaining all the original bevels and has developed a warm gold patina all-over.
A truly exceptional timepiece, and a grail in the world of Cartier vintage watches, this magnificent timepiece is the perfect bridge between the early, hand made French production and the more modern reinterpretation of the brand’s history. Available now